Diana Abu-Jaber will read from her latest book ~ Life Without a Recipe 

Diana Abu-Jaber reading: Life Without a Recipe
Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 | 7pm | Doors open at 6:30
Admission for the evening reading is $7
Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita | 594 Laneda Avenue

Abu-Jaber’s new culinary memoir, Life Without A Recipe, has been described as “a book of love, death, and cake.” Ruth Reichl calls it “bold and luscious” and “indispensable to anyone trying to forge their own truer path.”

Abu-Jaber was born in Syracuse, New York to an American mother and a Jordanian father. Her family moved to Jordan a few times throughout her childhood, and elements of both her American and Jordanian experiences, as well as cross-cultural issues, especially culinary reflections, appear in her work.

Her novels and a previous memoir have won numerous awards, including the Arab-American National Book Award, the PEN Center Award for Literary fiction, the American Book Award, the Northwest Booksellers’ Award and the Oregon Book award for Literary Fiction. Her books have been included in many “top books of the year” lists by National Public Radio, the LA Times, the Washington Post, the Oregonian and others.

Diana teaches writing and literature at Portland State University and divides her time between South Florida and Portland, Oregon.

Sweet and Salty: Writing the Food Memoir
Abu-Jaber will teach a writing workshop
Saturday, Oct. 21 | 10-12:30
Tuition is $40

Register using the “Add to Cart” button below.

 
Tell me what you eat, said Brillat-Savarin, and I shall tell you what you are. Lives are filled with stories and plots but none is juicier than the one told with food. Culinary memoirs are wildly popular, taking readers beyond memory into the senses—especially the deep pleasures of the appetite.  Food sharpens the focus, introduces universal themes, and endows writing with imaginative, emotional, and physical layers of complexity.

This workshop will look at ways to write life stories by peering through the culinary lens.

There will be writing prompts, exercises, discussions, and food. We’ll be tasting and thinking and comparing notes, considering all the ways that our connections to eating give rise to remembering and inspiration. Come and see what you cook up. Bring your curiosity and your appetite, a sense of play and a sense of humor.

Following Abu-Jaber’s reading and Q&A in the evening, we’ll have our popular Open Mic where up to nine local or visiting writers will read 5 minutes of their original work. The suggested (not required) theme for the evening’s Open Mic is “Food Memories.“

The Manzanita Writers’ Series is a program of the Hoffman Center for the Arts and will be held at the Hoffman Center (across from Manzanita Library at 594 Laneda Avenue.) For more information contact Kathie Hightower,  kathiejhightower@gmail.com

The Manzanita Writers’ Series Launches Two Online Courses

Publishing Your Chapbook
Visibility & Sales: Marketing Your Small Press Book
Developed by John Sibley Williams
Tuition $49 for each course

The Manzanita Writers’ Series and Hoff Online launch two new writing workshops, evergreen courses that you can take at your own pace on your schedule. Register with the Enroll Now buttons below.


We are currently enjoying a small press renaissance, with countless publishing options for emerging authors. From submitting to reputable chapbook publishers to creating handmade, locally printed, limited editions of your work, the world has never been more open to an author’s specific vision.

Award-winning poet and literary agent John Sibley Williams created this hands-on workshop to explore the ins-and-outs of organizing and publishing your chapbook.

For writers of both poetry and prose, “Publishing your Chapbook” will guide you all the way from inspiration to publication.



With over 800 books per day published in the US alone, publicity for small press books has never been more necessary… and more difficult.

As an editor, literary agent and Marketing Director of Portland-based Inkwater Press, John Sibley Williams has learned all of this firsthand. In this course, he provides the expertise to help authors take on these obstacles.

The goal of “Visibility and Sales: Marketing Your Small Press Book” is to provide writers of all genres with the necessary tools, money-saving techniques, and networking skills to market their books with maximum effectiveness.


John Sibley Williams serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and works as both a literary agent and Marketing Director of Portland-based Inkwater Press. He is the editor of two Northwest literary anthologies and the author of nine poetry collections, including Disinheritance and Controlled Hallucinations. A five-time Pushcart nominee and winner of the Philip Booth Award, American Literary Review Poetry Contest, Nancy D. Hargrove Editors’ Prize, Confrontation Poetry Prize, and Vallum Award for Poetry, John has an MA in Creative Writing from Rivier College and an MA in Book Publishing from Portland State University.

Pauls Toutonghi Will Read From His Book “Dog Gone”

Dog Gone: A Lost Pet’s Extraordinary Journey and the Family Who Brought Him Home
Saturday, September 16, 2017 | 7pm
Hoffman Center for the Arts | Manzanita

Toutonghi’s reading kicks off a weekend for dog-lovers in Manzanita, preceding the all-day Sunday events for the 9th annual Muttzanita Festival (http://muttzanita.com).

On October 10, 1998, Fielding Marshall is hiking on the Appalachian Trail. His beloved dog—a six-year-old golden retriever mix named Gonker—bolts into the woods. Just like that, he’s vanished. And Gonker has Addison’s disease. If he’s not found in twenty-three days, he will die. “Dog Gone” is the story of the Marshall family and their epic hunt to track down Gonker.

“Toutonghi’s narrative is well-written and fast-paced. . . . Like a good novel, “Dog Gone” is full of twists that keep the reader engaged until the very end. . . . Don’t be surprised if, at the finish of “Dog Gone,” you find yourself wanting to rush to an animal rescue shelter. . . . Dog lovers of the world can unite behind this book.” —The Washington Post

“Lovely. . . . He’ll make you laugh…and he’ll evoke your tears. . . . It’s a story about the triumph of hope over despair. And a story of persistence, courage, and determination. And in its most profound and universal sense, a love story.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch 

“A moving nail-biter.” —Good Housekeeping

Author of four books, Toutonghi has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, and has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Virginia Quarterly Review, Granta, Tin House, and numerous other periodicals. After receiving his PhD in English Literature from Cornell University, Toutonghi moved to Portland, Oregon where he teaches at Lewis & Clark College.

On Saturday, from 1-3:30 pm, Toutonghi will teach a workshop “Writing with Balance.” Whether in fiction or nonfiction/memoir, how do you share personal, painful stories and still negotiate active relationships with the people involved?

How do you decide what to tell — and what not to tell? What are some of the best practices for determining the best way to use a difficult or personally challenging piece of your story?

The workshop will be held at the Hoffman Center for the Arts and tuition is $40. Register online by clicking on the Add to Cart button below.

Following Toutonghi’s reading and Q&A in the evening, we’ll have our popular Open Mic where up to nine local or visiting writers will read 5 minutes of their original work. The suggested (not required) theme for the evening’s Open Mic is “Dog Stories.“

Admission for the evening reading is $7
Doors open at 6:30

The Manzanita Writers’ Series is a program of the Hoffman Center for the Arts. For more information contact Kathie Hightower,  kathiejhightower@gmail.com

Liz Prato ~ Writing Outside the Box Workshop

Liz Prato
Writing Outside the Box
Saturday, August 12, 2017 | 1-3 pm
Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita

Saturday, August 12, 2017 | 4 pm
Cloud and Leaf Bookstore

 

The workshop, Writing Outside the Box will include Lecture and Guided Writing.

Let your creativity have free rein and write outside traditional prose structure! All stories and essays are different, so it stands to reason they don’t all require the same structure. In this class, we’ll break out of the standard narrative box and have fun exploring the forms available for telling your best story. Tuition is $40. Register using the Add to Cart button below.

Prato will read from “baby’s on fire” a collection of short stories at 4pm Saturday, at Cloud & Leaf
bookstore in Manzanita.

Prato is author of “baby’s on fire,” a collection of short stories. Her short stories and essays have appeared in over two-dozen literary journals and magazines. She was the Guest Prose Editor for the Summer 2013 issue of VoiceCatcher, and edited the fiction anthology, The Night, and the Rain, and the River.

Awards include the 2010 Minnetonka Review Editor’s Prize, 1st place in the 2005 Berkeley Fiction Review Sudden Fiction Contest, four Pushcart Prize nominations, and a Scholarship to the 2012 Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She began teaching at the Attic Institute in in 2008, and has taught creative writing for several literary organizations throughout Oregon.

Praise for Prato’s book

     “The stories are at once beautifully written and tremendously compelling—not to mention filled with characters so full of life that they feel as real as people we know.
A knockout collection.” 
Molly Antopol, The UnAmericans

Liz Prato’s characters blaze with humanity, sensuality, and hope. Her writing glitters and her stories push us to the edge: Prato rubs her people together until they spark, in a book that throbs with heart—and grips our own.”
—Dylan Landis, author of Rainey Royal

The Manzanita Writers’ Series is a program of the Hoffman Center for the Arts and will be held at the Hoffman Center (across from Manzanita Library at 594 Laneda Avenue.) For more information contact Kathie Hightower,  kathiejhightower@gmail.com


Mourning Brian Doyle

The literary world, Oregon, and all of us at Hoffman Center for the Arts were thrown for a loss recently with the death of Brian Doyle, beloved author and gifted storyteller.

Brian generously visited the Hoffman Center twice to read at our Manzanita Writers’ Series in its fledgling years. He packed the house. He also stepped up to judge submissions when we launched our literary publication the North Coast Squid. He was eager to encourage other writers.

When Brian read from his works, he could make us laugh or cry. He often cried along with us. His passion for writing and storytelling was contagious.

Brian was a born storyteller. Even when he wasn’t reading from one of his carefully crafted books, he engaged audiences with fascinating stories. One favorite told of an exchange he had with a Buddhist monk backstage before an appearance of the Dalai Lama. They discussed, at length and with some passion, whether basketball or soccer was the best sport. It took a few minutes before Brian realized he was talking with the Dalai Lama himself, not one of his entourage.

It’s hard to believe Brian is no longer with us here but we expect he’s busy telling stories wherever he is.

For fans who would like to help Brian’s family in this time of need, a GoFundMe campaign has been set up at:  https://www.gofundme.com/betenderandlaugh

If you’re not acquainted with his work, here’s A Guide to Brian Doyle’s Best Works by April Baer of OPB: http://www.opb.org/artsandlife/article/brian-doyle-oregon-author-books/

 

Authors and Participants Read Their Work on Saturday, June 3rd

Jennie Shortridge

Jennie Shortridge will read from Love Water Memory, and Megan Kruse will read from Call Me Home at 7pm at the Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita on Saturday, June 3, 2017

As part of the first Manzanita Writers’ Retreat this weekend, the two author instructors will read from their latest books, and retreat participants will read at Open Mic. The event is open to the public at 7pm at the Hoffman Center for the Arts on Saturday June 3.

Jennie Shortridge is the author of five novels, including Love Water Memory and When She Flew, and numerous magazine articles and essays. Her novels have been translated into many languages, optioned for film and television, and selected as American Booksellers Association’s Indie Next picks, Target Bookmarked picks, and Library Journal’s Editors’ Picks.

Megan Kruse

Megan Kruse studied creative writing at Oberlin College and earned her MFA at the University of Montana. Her work has appeared widely in journals and anthologies, and her debut novel, Call Me Home was released from Hawthorne Books, with an introduction by Elizabeth Gilbert. She teaches fiction at Eastern Oregon University’s Low-Residency MFA program, Hugo House, and Gotham Writers Workshop. She was the recipient of a 2016 Pacific Northwest Book Award, and one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 for 2015.

Following the author readings and Q&A in the evening, the Open Mic will feature participants from the weekend writers retreat and/or from a recent month-long HoffOnline Writing Course. 

Admission for the evening reading is $7.

The Manzanita Writers’ Series is a program of the Hoffman Center for the Arts and will be held at the Hoffman Center (across from Manzanita Library at 594 Laneda Avenue.) For further information contact Kathie Hightower,  kathiejhightower@gmail.com

Three Winning One-Act Plays to be Performed as Reader’s Theater Friday June 9

The Hoffman Center for the Arts in Manzanita will host a Reader’s Theater performance of the three winning one-act plays selected in a new competition this year. The performance will be at 7pm on Friday June 9, 2017.  Fee for the performance is $7.

Thirty-three plays were submitted for the competition. The plays were judged by Anne Osborne Coopersmith of Nehalem, George Dzundza of Tillamook, and Gail B. Frank of Nehalem and Arizona to determine the top three to be performed.

Submissions came from around the country and overseas even though the original press release announcements were all local to the coast and Northwest. The response likely says something about how much playwrights want to see their work performed.

The winning plays are Gertrude and Alice Go to War by Douglas Rees, from the bay area; A Man’s Home by Donna Hopkins, from CA; and Human Refuse, by Dorianne Emerson, a Canadian.

The winners were chosen in blind judging. Each judged considered eleven plays. By coincidence each of the winning plays have a lesbian experience theme. In fact they happen to reflect society’s historical acceptance of lesbians: Gertrude and Alice reflecting attitudes during WWI, (no tolerance or understanding); A Man’s Home, a grudging partial acceptance but maybe not understanding, in the 1950’s: and Human Refuse, current tentative acceptance characterized by close scrutiny. Because of the subject matter, we chose to present these plays at the same time as Astoria’s Gay Pride Week.

Sue Jelineo, who has been active in local Reader’s Theater and the theater at NCRD, championed this first play competition at the Hoffman Center for the Arts. She will be directing the reader’s theater. She has a number of readers lined up but could use a few more men to read. Contact her atsjelineo@nehalemtel.net if you are interested in reading.

Writers’ Retreat in Manzanita June 2-4, 2017

Join us in beautiful Manzanita Friday evening June 2 through  noon on Sunday, June 4 for an inspiring and constructive writing retreat.  Learn more about the writing craft, as well as the business of writing, and best of all, have fun in one of the most magical places on the Oregon Coast—Manzanita.

Authors Jennie Shortridge and Megan Kruse will lead craft workshops on ways to build tension in your writing, metaphor, and making the setting feel real.  They’ll also take participants through a fast-paced “Promp-O-Rama” to help generate new work.

Rhonda Hughes, publisher and editor of Hawthorne Books, will join Megan and Jennie in a panel discussion on the business side of publishing.

To complement these topics, there will also be sessions on yoga for writers, tips for reading in front of an audience, and tools to help you commit to the writing life.

On Saturday evening Megan and Jennie will read from their latest works and there will be an opportunity for workshop participants to read short pieces as well.

Even with this extensive line-up of activities, there’s still free time for participants to go for a hike, beach walk, or even take a nap after a lunch at local favorite, Bread & Ocean.

This weekend retreat is just $99, if you register by May 22nd.  The price increases to $129 after that.

Included in the Writers’ Retreat will be a tote bag for you to carry your materials, plus a variety of offers and coupons from participating businesses in Manzanita.

Click here to find out more about Jennie Shortridge and Megan Kruse.  Click here for the complete description of the Writers’ Retreat.

Register now for the Writers’ Retreat by using the Add to Cart button below.

Jonathan White Shares His Book Tides

Jonathan White will read from his book Tides:
The Science and Spirit of the Ocean 

Hoffman Center for the Arts
Saturday, May 20, 2017 | 7pm

After nearly losing his 65’ wooden schooner in a large Alaskan tide, writer, sailor, surfer and marine conservationist Jonathan White vowed to understand the tide.  He knew the moon had something to do with it, but what exactly?  He thought he’d learn enough from a book or two, but the subject turned out to be far more complex, fascinating and poetic than he imagined.  Two books turned into three hundred — and ten years of research criss-crossing the seven seas to view the largest, fastest, scariest, and most amazing tides in the world.

His book mixes science, history, ocean lore and literary travel writing. He fills you in on various cultures’ ancient myths about the tides and scientists’ gradual discovery of what triggers tides’ rise and fall. He touches on rising sea levels triggered by climate change, the latest efforts to tap tidal energy for our electrical power needs, and more.

White has written for the Christian Science MonitorSierraThe SunSurfer’s JournalOrion, and other publications.  He holds an MFA in creative nonfiction, and lives with his wife and son on a small island in Washington State. He has served on numerous conservation boards  and committees, including the San Juan Preservation Trust, the San Juan County Marine Resources Committee, and the Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Initiative.

As founder and former director of the Resource Institute, a nonprofit educational organization based in Seattle, Washington, he spent eleven years building a seminar program aboard the schooner Crusader in the Pacific Northwest. Resource Institute sponsored weeklong seminars aboard the sixty-five-foot schooner, with subjects ranging from navigation, anthropology, and whale research to poetry, writing, music, and photography. James Hillman, Lynn Margulis, Gary Snyder, Robert Bly, Art Wolfe, and William Stafford were among the many who taught aboard Crusader.  Jonathan’s first book, Talking on the Water, grew out of these experiences.

                        “When I first received this book for a review I thought I would learn some neat facts for impressing people on trivia night. I was ready to learn, but I wasn’t ready to feel. Tides is poetry, prose, and practical science intertwined with incredible skill.” – BlogCritic

“White makes gnarly subtleties lucid, and has a sense of humor when confronted
with the technicalities of his subject.” – Michael Upchurch,the Oregonian

During the day Saturday, from 1-3, White will teach a workshop on Research and Writing: A Balance. How much research is too much?  Too little?   Discussion topics include how to conduct interviews, travel, note-taking, recordings, the role of patience and luck, and how to organize and manage research materials while writing. This will be useful whether you write fiction, nonfiction, memoir.

The workshop will be held at the Hoffman Center for the Arts and tuition is $40. Register using the Add to Cart button below.

 
Following White’s reading and Q&A in the evening, we’ll have our popular Open Mic where up to nine local or visiting writers will read 5 minutes of their original work. The suggested (not required) theme for the evening’s Open Mic is “Not Your Usual Ocean Story.“

NOTE: Admission for the evening reading is $7. This event may well sell out, so come early. Doors open at 6:30.

The Manzanita Writers’ Series is a program of the Hoffman Center for the Arts. For more information contact Kathie Hightower ~ kathiejhightower@gmail.com

Manzanita Writers’ Series Expands Offerings to Include Writing Workshops “Online and at the Beach”

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN
Each online course (5 weeks worth of sessions) is $199.
The optional retreat weekend is $99.

Learn More & Register

This May, the Manzanita Writers’ Series expands offerings to include writing workshops “Online and at the Beach,” as part of Hoff Online, a new Hoffman Center for the Arts program that will offer writing and visual arts workshops.

In its ninth year, the writers’ series brings regional authors to the coast for author readings and workshops. To augment that program, Online And At The Beach will provide more in-depth instruction online over a five-week period. Students will be able to work on their own schedule as well as interact with the instructor and fellow students.

The initial series begins May 1, 2017, and culminates in an optional writing retreat weekend in Manzanita the weekend of June 2-4, 2017. Registrations open April 1.

Jennie Shortridge will teach “Putting Your Prose to Work” and Megan Kruse will teach “Creativity Catalyst”. Read more about the classes and register at our new Hoff Online page.

The optional weekend retreat will allow students to meet their instructor and fellow students, enjoy additional craft writing sessions on building tension even in quiet stories, and on the transformative power of setting and “stuff.” After a session on effective open mic readings, participants will have an opportunity to read their work at Open Mic. Optional activities will include “Yoga for Writers,” hikes and a fun Prompt-O-Rama (a new writing prompt every five minutes for an hour).

Jennie Shortridge

Megan Kruse

View author bios here.

The Manzanita Writers’ Series is a program of the Hoffman Center for the Arts. For more info contact Kathie Hightower, kathiejhightower@gmail.com